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Submitting a Soil Test to the Lab

Read on for instructions for submitting your soil test for nutrient analysis.

This test is appropriate for those interested in receiving liming and fertilizer recommendations.

Step 1:

Register your soil sample (even if you are paying via physical check/money order).

You will be prompted to make an account if you do not have one. Once you have logged in, fill out the required fields concerning your contact info and desired crop code.

Crop codes are categorized and listed via a dropdown menu:

Image of registration page for soil samples.

You may select up to six different crop codes for each sample.

Most homeowners and farmers should choose “soil test.”

Screenshot of the options to pick for soil test.

For those interested in knowing the soil organic matter, that option is available, but know that it will not impact fertilizer and lime recommendations. Soil organic matter is an indicator of overall soil health. Farmers may use %OM to help calculate herbicide application rates.

Composed material, mulch, and potting media samples are not truly “soil,” so it is not appropriate to test them for soil organic matter. Choose “soil test” for these samples.

Online payment options include credit card and eCheck.

If you would rather pay via physical check/money order, please include payment when mailing your soil sample (rather than mailing it separately). We will not process samples without payment.

Once you submit your sample form, you will get an automated confirmation email containing an attachment with your receipt. Please check your junk mail folder if you don't see it in your inbox.

Print this attachment to include with your soil sample.

If printing is not available, then at a minimum, write your order number somewhere on the soil sample box

Screenshot of email you receive after submitting request.
The email attachment will look like this.
The order number is located in the top left.

Step 2:

Take the soil sample to your local Extension office or mail the soil sample directly to the MSU soil testing lab.

If mailing via the U.S. Post Office:

MSU Soil Testing
P.O. Box 9610
Mississippi State, MS 39759

If mailing via UPS/FedEx:

MSU Soil Testing
MS 9610
405 E Garrard Road
Starkville, MS

If you take your soil sample to your local Extension office, they will mail the sample to our lab for free. However, if you are concerned with quick turnaround time, then mailing the sample yourself will probably be the fastest option. Taking the sample to the local Extension office may delay your results by several days.

Typical turnaround time is within 2 weeks from the time the soil sample is received at the soil lab. You will get an email containing your results.

Click here for instructions on how to interpret your results.

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Publications

Publication Number: P3858
Publication Number: P3856
Publication Number: P1224
Publication Number: P3777

News

Woman in blue lab coat holding up paper.
Filed Under: Soils, Soil Health, Soil Testing August 5, 2022

Having healthy soil in your garden results in healthy plants. Whether you’re planting vegetables, flowers, grass, trees, shrubs, or anything in between, a soil sample is the first thing to check off the list. Gathering a soil sample from your landscape and having it tested by MSU Extension’s Soil Testing Lab should be the initial step in any gardening adventure. Plus, it’s pretty easy to do!

Raking leaves
Filed Under: Soil Testing, Lawn and Garden, Herb Gardens, Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Vegetable Gardens September 28, 2021

Autumn is officially here! It’s not hard to love this time of year. Temperatures are cooling, leaves are changing, and there will be more branches than foliage soon. It’s hard not to love this time of year! As we close out this calendar year, it’s easy to convince yourself there’s not much to do in the yard. Take a break, but also take time to check off these tasks

Filed Under: Soils, Soil Testing, Healthy Soils and Water September 8, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Far too often in Mississippi, soil management after major weather events must be considered, but landowners affected by Hurricane Ida now have a guide on how to approach this task.

“Soil Management After Hurricane Ida” is available online on the Mississippi Crop Situation blog at https://www.mississippi-crops.com/2021/09/02/soil-management-after-hurricane-ida/.

Filed Under: Soil Testing June 17, 2021

Mississippi agricultural producers and landowners who are interested in carbon sequestration can test their soil’s carbon content through the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

A hand with a a grey glove on planting a series of bulbs in the soil.
Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Soil Testing September 28, 2020

Video by Michaela Parker

We’ve finally made it to fall! The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing colors, and I can’t wait to purchase pumpkins and mums for my front porch! 

If you’re trying to stay on top of what tasks you should be doing in your yard and garden, check out these four for the month of October.

Success Stories

A man stands in a wooden shed holding parts to a soil sensor system.
Agriculture, Crops, Irrigation, Remote Sensing Technology, Soils, Soil Health, Soil Testing, Healthy Soils and Water, Healthy Water Practices, Water
Volume 8 Number 2

Brian Andrus irrigated exactly zero times on his Sunflower County farm in 2021. He didn’t even turn on his well.

 

A child uses colorful LEGO bricks at a 4-H Robotics competition.
STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math, Dairy, Pesticide Applicator Certification, Soil Testing, City and County Government, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, Natural Resources
Volume 3 Number 3

4-H Debuts New Curriculum · Extension Develops Workforce · La-Z-Boy Donates Fabric · Stars Focus On Sustainability · Extension Directs Herbicide Training · Youth Discover Dairy Science · Soil Lab Welcomes New Manager

Watch

How to Take a Soil Sample - MSU Extension Service
Extension Stories

How to Take a Soil Sample

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 1:45pm
Interpreting Soil Test Results - MSU Extension Service
Extension Stories

Interpreting Soil Test Results

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 1:30pm

Listen

Monday, October 15, 2018 - 2:00am

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Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. Keri Denley Jones
Laboratory Coordinator
Soil Testing Lab